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Preview, #76: 6/20 vs. Rockies

Colorado seems to have had the evil eye over Arizona this year.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Colorado Rockies Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Charlie Blackmon - RF Ketel Marte - CF
Ian Desmond - CF Ildemaro Vargas - 2B
Nolan Arenado - 3B David Peralta - LF
David Dahl - LF Adam Jones - RF
Chris Iannetta - C Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Ryan McMahon - 2B Kevin Cron - 1B
Mark Reynolds - 1B Nick Ahmed - SS
Pat Valaika - SS Caleb Joseph - C
Jeff Hoffman - RHP Robbie Ray - LHP

Historically, the Diamondbacks have tended to do very well against the Rockies. They have a better record against them than when facing any of their other NL West rivals, having gone 212-170. Over the eight seasons between 2010 and 2017, Colorado won the season series over Arizona just one, edging it 10-9 in 2014. Only once have the Rockies won more than 11 games, going 13-6 in 2004 (when, let’s face it, the D-backs were the red-headed step-children of the entire major leagues). In contrast, Arizona has won more than 11 in seven different seasons, peaking in 2008, when they went 15-3 against Colorado. But the last couple of years? Not so much.

The D-backs are at serious risk of losing back-to-back season series against the Rockies for the first time in franchise history. They went 8-11 in 2018, and last night’s defeat - the seventh in a row against Colorado, tying a franchise record set during that wretched 2004 campaign - make the score this year 2-7. With ten games to play, Arizona need to go 8-2 over the remaining games to win the season series; a loss this afternoon would all but extinguish any such hope. Four of those losses have been by one run, and Tuesday night’s drubbing was the first defeat this year to Colorado by more than two, but they all count the same. That Arizona have only been outscored by nine runs (50-59) is purely a moral victory.

The bad news is, we’ve sucked against all the NL West save the Giants (we’re 4-2 there). We’re also 2-5 facing the Dodgers, and 3-7 versus the Padres. All told, the Diamondbacka re 11-21 against the NL West this year, which is the worst record in the division, 312 games worse even than San Francisco. That needs to change, and change emphatically, over the 16 remaining games before the All-Star break, all of which are within the division. That begins today, with a Robbie Ray kind of day game, and I am also pleased to see Kevin Cron getting the start at first-base. It seems extreme to call any game in the first half of the season a “must win,” but this is certainly a “very important to win” kind of contest.